Prayer at home (2)



    This theme of prayer will continue for a while. Prayer is God’s gift to us and in this time, we have time not to be over busy and to value the gift. It is His gift to us of friendship of being together with him; it is his gift to us to work with him as we pray for others. Contemplation and action.

   In his teaching on prayer, Jesus said: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6).  

  Last time I encouraged you to sit and be with the Lord in prayer. Some may struggle without some sort of structure so it’s interesting that Jesus then went on to say: “ And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.‘This, then, is how you should pray:

‘“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 8:7-13)

  Let’s have a look then at how this prayer which Jesus himself gives us can be a useful pattern for prayer. Pray it slowly, rolling each phrase over in your mind before moving on. Then perhaps look at sections so:

Our Father in heaven,

  The term Jesus used for Father is ‘Abba’ which is like ‘dad’ in English. Just as Jesus could talk to Father as ‘dad’, he’s saying we can too. That speaks of a close relationship that is ours to enjoy with our heavenly parent. Perhaps spend a little time giving thanks that he is so close to us and loves us and you. Rejoice in the relationship and friendship that is yours with God.

Hallowed be your name.

 May your name be holy Lord. May our vision be filled with the beauty and tenderness of God. Then pray that that beauty and tenderness may be seen and known by the whole world, perhaps especially in the lives of those around us?

 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

   This is a daring line to pray if you stop to listen to it carefully. We are praying that God’s will be done on earth as in heaven. It’s easy to pray that wanting everyone else to be in line with God’s will but actually we’re called to add – and start with me! Pray that we will allow God so to work in us that our will becomes aligned with his will (and it is a work of His Sprit! but we need to give permission)

How’s that for a starter on the Lord’s Prayer? More to follow.

Vivien Elphick. April 25th 2020